Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, October 12, 2009

Use relief fund to keep teachers

State Sen. Gary Hooser's idea to use the Hurricane Relief Fund to keep our teachers in school is a good one. The fund was created after Hurricane Iniki because insurance companies refused to give us hurricane insurance. That situation changed a long time ago.

Hurricane insurance is now readily available. Granted, it would be a good thing to have $180 million sitting there to use in case there is another hurricane, but we have a crisis right now, and again, there would be no such fund to protect us in case of another hurricane if hurricane insurance hadn't become unavailable after Iniki.

So let's use some of this money to stop this ridiculous idea of reducing the number of days our already undereducated children receive.

Let's put our children at the top of our priority list, where they should be. Contact your representatives and senators and the governor and tell them to do this.

And, for once, can we leave politics out of it? Regardless of what party you belong to or what candidate you support, this is a good idea.

Bruce Savage


Tam misses point in commentary

With all due respect for City Councilman Rod Tam, I find his commentary about bed-and-breakfasts (”;B&Bs need permits with regulations,”; Star-Bulletin, Sept. 30) very troubling.

It misses the key point of the debate, which is not noise, parking regulations, or whether the owner or an operator manages the B&B mini-hotel.

It is about the commercialization of our residential neighborhoods, the negative impacts on the quality of life of residents and the social health of the community. It is about zoning and planning policies, housing for our people, social policy, and the rights of people who bought into residential communities but now find themselves pitted against commercial interests.

In order to placate a community upset over the legalization in 1989 of a limited number of B&Bs in residential neighborhoods, the city promulgated guidelines and enforcement policies. These have been ignored as thousands of new, illegal, operations have sprung up, many with the full knowledge of the city.

Should we be taken for fools once more? Especially when there would be thousands more operations to regulate and at a time when the city budget is dismally short and no additional funds for enforcement have been allocated?

Also, is not the legalization of illegal activities simply because they have operated underground for some time a dangerous and irresponsible way of governing?

Let's end the debate, enforce regulations already on the books and return our residential neighborhoods to their intended use — residential, not resort.

Ursula Retherford


Regulate and tax marijuana sales

City Councilman Rod Tam compares the bed-and-breakfast controversy to the failure of alcohol prohibition (”;B&Bs need permits with regulations,”; Star-Bulletin, Sept. 30), saying that regulation works better than prohibition.

We agree.

Policy makers should reform our drug laws for exactly the same reason. Our government has spent billions of dollars on law enforcement and incarceration over the last three decades.

After all that expense and effort, drugs are cheaper and easily obtained.

The first step should be to regulate and tax the sale of marijuana, in much the same way that alcohol and tobacco are regulated.

Jeanne Y. Ohta

Executive director

Drug Policy Forum of Hawaii




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